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  • 25Mar

    #GDM WEEK – Zuzuka Poderosa’s carioca bass revolution

    #GDM, aka global dance music is next. Unaware of what #GDM is? It’s  phrase coined in March of 2013 by myself and conrazon’s Latin and African diaspora artist development wizard Natalia Linares to represent where the confluence of the urban sounds of rap and soul are headed when blended with dance. As well, with the digital era now allowing the world to grow larger, a space exists to uncover the strength of the culture of indigenous peoples. With this being the case, it’s more-than-likely a time to prepare to experience what happens when the organic energies of red, brown and black people enter into dance’s current pop atmosphere. With bass being key to both rap and dance, and as well more dominant than ever across all genres, it’s important to realize that the call-and-response of the drum is a concept largely borne of these once marginalized indigenous cultures, thus making those cultures – and their wild new sounds – important to where music is headed. This week, Brooklyn Bodega highlights but a select few artists that represent what a larger next-level diaspora is boldly creating…

    Still from 'Seda'

    Brazil-born and Brooklyn-based bass vocalist Zuzuka Poderosa’s latest release, the Carioca Bass EP is quite possibly her best project-to-date. If you’re asking what “carioca bass” is, it’s a story of 21st century DIY entrepreneurship gone wild. In an interview with MTV Iggy, she says: “Basically, I made it up myself because it does have baile funk influences but I also had other influences growing up, such as dancehall, drum and bass, bass music and electronic music as well.”

    Unique stylistic hybrids are commonplace in this generation. One listen to Skrillex’s emo-pop meets hardcore dubstep makes that apparent. However, in taking the Euro-American construct by which not-so-heavily incubated styles and micro-genres are made and adding a far more organic and global concept, it creates a new space wherein these sounds are allowed to arguably become more insistent, powerful and instantaneously connective. Baile funk’s off-kilter basslines take booty shaking into a strange yet ultimately entirely inviting space. When you add Zuzuka’s sultry vocals and powerful desire to create “interracial music babies” into the equation, it’s pop gone crazy, a freewheeling, next-generation party.

    One look and listen to Caricoca Bass EP lead single “Seda” (featuring Kush Aurora) and you’re assaulted with visions, words and sounds that – though entirely foreign – forcefully gain your attention. “Seda” is Portuguese for rolling papers, and when you cut through the unfamiliar jargon, the song’s politicized message of marijuana decriminalization hits hard.

    As the world undergoes a metamorphosis and typical expectations of cultural progressions erode, artists like Zuzuka Poderosa – comfortable with DIY and employing wildly creative standards – have the ability and space to see their potential grow. Either if/when established artists accept their notions, or revolutionary influences overtake popular music, their sounds and styles will excel.

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